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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Man Utd 2-1 Norwich

Alan Smith scored a stunning winner as Manchester United edged out Norwich.

United's summer signing from Leeds became an instant hero with a 49th- minute volley that added to David Bellion's earlier strike.

Smith also set up Bellion's close-range finish after 32 minutes as United created a host of chances in their first win of the Premiership season.

Norwich substitute Paul McVeigh pulled a goal back late on when he shot home from 18 yards out but United held on.

United, stung by the defeat at Chelsea, were swiftly into their stride and it needed a desperate clearance from Simon Charlton to halt a Ryan Giggs cross.

The game exploded into life just after the half-hour, when Bentley - on-loan from Arsenal - struck the crossbar from 25 yards with Tim Howard helpless.

United responded in style, taking the lead after 32 minutes through the recalled Bellion.

Giggs' cross was headed on by Smith, and Bellion was lurking eight yards out to turn a neat finish past Robert Green.

Smith was making himself a firm favourite with the crowd, and he brought Old Trafford to its feet with a stunning second four minutes after the interval.

He chested down Giggs' header in an instant before swivelling and flashing a left foot volley high past Green via an upright.

United were rampant, and Giggs brought a fine save from Green, diving low to his left, with a 25-yard drive.

Norwich had no answer to United's attacking threat, and it needed another excellent stop from Green on the hour to deny Scholes, who stretched to volley a pinpoint pass from Bellion.

The Canaries provided some respite from the siege after 67 minutes when Darren Huckerby skipped past Roy Keane, but Mathias Svensson was unable to get on the end of his cross.

Norwich pulled a goal back with 16 minutes left, substitute McVeigh getting on target with a powerful shot that Howard got hands to but could not keep out.

And substitute Leon McKenzie almost stunned United with an equaliser, outpacing Keane but shooting just wide.


Man Utd: Howard, Gary Neville (Phil Neville 73), Keane, Silvestre, O'Shea, Bellion (Richardson 74), Miller (Ronaldo 85), Djemba-Djemba, Giggs, Smith, Scholes.
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Eagles.

Goals: Bellion 32, Smith 50.

Norwich: Green, Helveg, Fleming, Charlton, Drury, Bentley (McKenzie 76), Francis, Holt, Jonson (McVeigh 45), Huckerby, Svensson (Doherty 69).
Subs Not Used: Edworthy, Ward.

Booked: Helveg.

Goals: McVeigh 75.

Att: 67,812.

Ref: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).




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